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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This was one movie ending that we thoroughly agreed with - and not
because the couple got together, but because they didn't. Jules Potter
is way too selfish to be in a relationship with anyone.
Jules and Michael have been friends since college, and one year they made a pact that if neither of them were married by the time they were 28 (really? Did they go to school in Utah?) they would marry each other. When Michael calls on the eve (eve eve) of Jules' birthday she assumes it's to call in his marker. When she finds out that he is instead calling to announce that he's engaged to someone else, Jules suddenly decides that he's the one for her, and spends the next three days doing everything in her power to break up the clearly happy couple.
Talk about wanting what you can't have. Jules doesn't want to win Michael over; she just wants to win. Is this really how you treat your best friend? Clearly not, as Jules doesn't win the guy in the end after all. Three days of sabotage - flirting, prancing about in her underwear, trying to provoke Michael's jealousy by pretending to be engaged to her best gay friend George, attempting to humiliate Kimmy, the bride-to-be, in a karaoke bar, sending manipulative emails from Kimmy's father, and finally - confessing her newly discovered "love" for Michael and forcing her lips on him - are all done in vain. Just when you're wondering how much farther she'll take it, Jules finally comes to the realization that Michael's love for Kimmy cannot be swayed by her cheap antics. And in the end it's Michael and Kimmy who get married and sail off into the sunset.
We shudder to think what happens when George announces he's met someone. Will she prance around him in Gucci couture? Move to Chelsea? Have a sex change operation? We think Michael, Kimmy and George need to find some new friends.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It came to 27-year-old New York restaurant critic Julianne Potter's
(Julia Roberts) attention when she was having a meal with her gay
friend George Downes (Rupert Everett). Longtime friend Michael O'Neil
had called her to say that he is going to get married in four days'
time, to Kimberley Wallace (Cameron Diaz), who is a University of
Chicago student from a wealthy family.
It upsets Julianne, knowing that back in college, he and Michael had made an agreement that if they were not married by the time they reach 28, they will marry each other. But not only that, Michael had only known the 20-year-old Kimberley for a short period of time. Julianne realises that she is in love with her longtime friend and set out to prevent the wedding from taking place. While at the same time, to be Kimberley's maid of honour.
It sets off a series of comical sequences like taking Kimberley and Michael to a karaoke bar after discovering that Kimberley is a terrible singer and asking the gay friend George to pretend that they are engaged, hoping to make Michael jealous of Julianne. Unfortunately the plans did not work.
George then advised Julianne to do the obvious: Tell Michael up front that she is in love with him. So on the morning of the wedding, Julianne finally confessed her true feelings to her longtime friend, asked him to marry her instead, and kisses him. Kimberley unfortunately saw it all and ran off with Michael chasing her, and Julianne chases him unsuccessfully...or so she thought. She spotted Michael at the train station and finally accepted the fact that she has lost Michael to Kimberley. She went to apologise to Kimberley and explained the whole situation, including that he did not kissed her back.
The wedding did took place after all, with Julianne as Kimberley's maid of honour wishing them well. And she being consoled by George as well.
To have Julia Roberts playing the role of the person to steal her friend's future spouse may be just wrong given one does not associate her in that kind of role, but one probably cannot help but wonder whether she can do it in the end. Whether one was rooting for Julia Roberts in her role as Julianne or not, there is also other reasons to like this film. Like the supporting cast especially Rupert Everett as George.
While this is a pleasant albeit convoluted romantic comedy, it could
have been much better. Julia Roberts has great charisma but can't pull
off a role that requires her to play a negative character. The script
feels toothless and the dark elements are toned down. Dermot Mulroney
is a bit too quiet though his acting improves towards the end. Cameron
Diaz has loads of charisma and manages to hold her own in what is
essentially a second lead. The film's best performance is given by
Rupert Everett. The screen sizzles whenever he's present. Although
perfectly watchable, the film is flawed and a little disappointing.
When it comes to a Julia Roberts movie, I've yet to find a character that I can't identify with. Her Julianne "Jules" Potter is so endearing not only for her humour or for her impulsiveness, but for her ability to come across as so undeniably real. Caught in a situation that's unpleasant for anyone to be in (facing losing the man she loves to a insipidly annoying Cameron Diaz) is something we've all had to deal with in one way or another. Everything in this movie clicks perfectly-but the real unsung hero of this film is Rupert Everett as George. His portrayal of the hyperactive gay friend who is quickly becoming Jules' last hope is fabulous. Every line is delivered perfectly-so well that you wonder if he wasn't doing improv from the moment the camera was turned on. Basically, he just serves to frustrate women worldwide by reminding them of his unavailibilty. My Best Friend's Wedding is charming, and manages to escape the romantic comedy rut of just laughter. Instead, you find yourself desperate to control the outcome of the movie, because if the people you want together don't end up together you'll find yourself caught in a vicious cycle-loving the film and hating it simultaneously.
This is one of my favourite films of all time. There are so many
that you'll either adore or squirm at, which is why it is a love/hate
Diaz doing karaoke is hilarious, an entire restaurant singing Say A Little Prayer is entirely unbelievable, but still one of my favourite bits.
Rupert Everett steals the show for me. Right from when he meets Diaz for the first time in the church, the restaurant scene, & then the ending at the wedding reception, he just makes me smile.
I admit that there are a few moments to cringe at, like the Roberts e-mail incident, but the good bits certainly out-weigh the bad.
Take the movie at face value - it's just entertainment!
I think P. J. Hogan's My Best Friend's Wedding fails on a number of levels:
plot, motivation and characterisation.
Julia Roberts play a successful 28 year old food critic who ,we are
informed, historically has shunned romantic involvement to maintain
independence and professional freedom. However, we learn she takes lovers to
fulfill other needs and discards them when the heat of passion must
inevitably give way to something involving love and a relationship.
Naturally, all beautiful, successful women in Hollywood have a very close gay male friend - in this case, Rupert Everett, giving one of his best performances as Julia's editor. Rupert's lot in life is to tag along with Julia to free lunches at the swish restaurants subjected to Julia's feared taste-bud appraisals. But, of course, there is no such thing as a free lunch and Rupert must bear the brunt of the retelling of Julia's life story and provide the kind of deep and meaningful advice that only gay men can give - be it submerged in the characteristic witticisms and puns for which gay men giving counsel to straight women are renowned. It is at this latest gourmet freebie that we learn of Julia's deep and abiding friendship with her old Uni buddy Dermot Mulroney, a revelation sparked by the fact that Dermot has left a message on Julia's mobile(funny how people read letters immediately but leave mobile messages to stew). Just in case Rupert has forgotten since lunch the day before and the day before that, Julia had a brief fling with Dermot at Uni but instead of giving him the flick like all the others, before and since, she anointed him her best friend' and that's what they've been for about ten years.
When Julia finally finishes eating and gets back to Dermot she literally keels over with the news that Dermot has met someone and is planning marriage, pronto. It turns out it all happened so quickly just in case we wonder why such a close friend as Dermot hasn't confided in Julia all the way along - as one would expect of 'best friends'. It isn't made clear if Julia has an unrealistic expectation that she and Dermot will continue into old age as single best friends or, maybe, she is piqued at Dermot opting for something over and above a platonic friendship with Julia who only rings him when another lover bites the dust. What is clear is that while Julia has been hanging around with gay men, Dermot has not been hanging out with gay women - the odds of his meeting someone before Julia was always in his favour. However in spite of ten years of stagnant friendship Julia decides, like a kid with a toy that doesn't want to share, that she wants Dermot and she will break up his impending nuptials to get him. The credibility of the narrative hinges on the plausibility of Julia's assessment of the nature of her relationship with Dermot and this assessment as the motivating force behind her decision to take Dermot away from his fiancee. It just seems to be a quantum leap of logic that launches one into the other. It is hard to believe that she could convince herself that Dermot's proposed marriage is some adolescent folly on his part and that fate can be altered by mere whim. After all, she's the one who's been the strict adherent of friendship without commitment. We don't learn in the early part of the film if Dermot mirrors Julia's attitudes on love and relationships or if Julia's insights are actually delusions to avoid facing the fact that she has always been in love with Dermot.
From the outset, Julia's motives and values are somewhat shaky. It's not difficult to like her very little. It's not that she's unlikeable, but more kind of wound up to the things she wants. She wants Rupert to listen to the never-ending vicissitudes of her life; she wants Dermot to be on hand for confidences that perhaps Rupert is not qualified to process; she wants to be a role model to other less-gifted women hidebound by marriage and parenthood - she wants an audience to her life as long as they don't want to come backstage. But now that Dermot is getting married she's expected to be part of another woman's audience and her total self-absorption won't allow that to happen. Dermot's fiancée Kimmy, played with zest by former model Cameron Diaz, welcomes Julia with open arms but Julia interprets her friendliness as watchful uncertainty. Kimmy's super rich parents (but Dermot's not interested in money) love Dermot and accept Julia as his best friend. Dermot's relatives and friends all know Julia well and, unlike me, like her. Julia has walked in on one of the happiest domestic situations an anxious outsider could ever hope to find. But none of this deters Julia from her ill-conceived quest to win the man she loves.
From that point on Julia stumbles over the sensibilities of other people, always out of step with what is the bleeding obvious but determined to reverse the irreversible at any cost. There are elements of Aussie cinematic silliness reminiscent of Priscilla and Muriel's Wedding, but ironically it's that kind of wackiness that keeps this film from spilling over into the realm of Hollywood schmalz. Although Julia Roberts dominates screen time, her performance is only okay. You get the feeling that she's not quite sure if she's in a comedy or melodrama, and this translates into a sketchy and unconvincing characterisation. Dermott Mulroney is not a charismatic actor, but at least his character has grown up and moved on while Julia's has bogged down in undergraduate nostalgia and failed to make an emotionally mature life for herself. You get the feeling that after the marriage Dermot will delete Julia from his life: She has no part to play because, in reality, she plays no part. But this film is not the sum of its parts and on one level you can't help but be beguiled by some of the best complexions and dental work going around Hollywood at the moment.
I recently saw "Made of Honor" in the theater and everyone said that it
was just a rip off of My Best Friend's Wedding, which I had never seen,
never had an interest, but I figured I might as well see it. So I
rented it the other day and watched it today, My Best Friend's Wedding
has all the ultimate cliché's of a typical chick flick, but I think the
reason I'm so gentle on this movie is because it's one of the first's
to have it, so it was semi-original for the time. I mean we got the gay
friend, the over perky blonde, the guy who can never take a hint, and
our leading lady who is actually a horrible person, but for some odd
reason we like her anyways. Julia Roberts, as horrible of a character
she played, she made the movie likable and something you'd just wanna
see how the story will play out until the very end.
Julianne has been best friends with Michael for 9 years, they tried dating, but it never quite worked out. But they made a promise to marry each other if they never found someone else, but when Michael found someone so quickly while staying in Chicago, a perky young pretty girl named Kimmy, Julianne realizes that she does want Michael. But obviously, it's too late, so she wants to break up the wedding and win Michael to herself.
My Best Friend's Wedding is actually worth the look if you're into romantic comedies. I'm not really, but this wasn't a waste of time to me, it actually had some funny moments, back when Cameron Diaz was actually cute and funny, don't know what happened to that girl, maybe she just got cocky. But her and Julia Roberts made a fun pair and made the movie work. I have to admit that the most ridicules moment but some how cheesy funny was when the group at lunch broke into the "I'll Say a Little Pray For You" song, it was so random and unbelievable, but I think that's what made it funny. My Best Friend's Wedding is a decent enough film for a watch, if you're into rom com's, this is one of the better one's.
There's something about Julia... I don't like. Although she played in some
OK movies (Erin Brockovich and The Pelican Brief come to mind) her acting
just no good... That and the fact she plays in so many crappy romantic
comedies AND the fact that everybody thinks she's pretty, while she
is not (come on, folks) just makes me dislike her. How she ever stole away
an academy award that belonged to Ellen Burstyn I will never forget. It's
just how I feel about Ms. Roberts.
In My Best Friend's Wedding, it's no difference. The movie tries to be snappy, at times even a bit dark, but it doesn't work. The 'interesting' part of the movie apparently is that Roberts is playing the not to nice girl in this one. So what, that's how I always felt about her... The story's pretty lame and I couldn't care less for the characters involved. I'm sorry...
There is a good sing-a-long somewhere near the end of the movie (I'm a sucker for those) and Everett steals the show in a funny role as Roberts' gay friend, but that's not enough to really make it work. 4/10 (and I'm being generous).
So much better in fact, that I was compelled to laugh and enjoy a romantic
comedy. Now for a male, that's quite something.
Opinion seems to be divided, but the haters of this film seem to have half-a-dozen main gripes:
1) That Julia Roberts doesn't know whether to do comedy or melodrama. Well, I think she needs to do both. She's not a particularly nice character remember - quite a selfish b*tch.
2) But I want Julia to be lovely and the other one to be horrid! Oh, and fall into the biggest cliché ever? Get a life! Can't you handle unconventional characterization? That's why Jules grows up during the course of the film - normally she's a hard-nose but really can't sustain it against someone who is so nice and emotionally vulnerable!
3) The portrayal of Kimberly is sexist. Yes, but she has squillions of dollars, so does it really matter so much? If I had a squillion dollars, I would probably do the same! She doesn't need to work and she knows it.
4) Dermott Mulroney was a plank. I agree.
5) I couldn't spot the plot coming. Well go watch a Disney movie fool!
6) I didn't like the ending. So? Do you think real life always has a sugary ending? The ending itself is reflective of the whole film. I mean did she actually deserve to have a man? No! Cos she has to go through the film to grow up. That's the point. She's now a more mature person who will get her reward in good time. That's the happy ending. She's become nice and considerate.
So as you can guess, I found the film bright and smart, not too mired in the woman-only scmaltz that surrounds these types of film and in fact subtly exhibited a darker side to the lead heroine that you wouldn't normally be allowed to see.
Rupert Everett puts in a good performance, but the 'gay friend' thing is becoming as stereotyped as the 'high-fiving cra-zeee black man'.
I would recommend this for men. It's pretty watchable without falling into puke-inducing cliché to often. And remember, take it at face value - 'it's just entertainment!'
Okay, this is the kind of typical romantic comedy that Meg Ryan & Tom Hanks
usually does, but here it is Julia Roberts and Dermot Mulroney who is the
lucky couple... or? The thing is, Mulroney is getting married with Cameron
Diaz so Roberts is on the kill the weddingtour.
It's predictable all the way, of course (well, maybe not all of it) and there are some good laughs here and there. But you don't see this movie for the lovestory, Roberts or Diaz. No, you, strangely enough, see it because of the happy gaypal Roberts has, Rupert Everett who is simply breathtaking. He has it all, charm, wit and joy.
The scene where the entire weddingensemble takes up singing during dinner, led by Everett, singing, I sing a little pray for you, is so damn good I almost start crying of joy and happiness when I see it.
8/10 A movie that puts you in a good mood.
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